This post certainly exposes the kernel of optimism that glows beneath my pessimistic recovering-lawyer veneer. In fact, it may uncover a certain degree of naiveté!
You see, my QuietSpacing(tm) practice was largely predicated on retreat and training budgets. Of course, those budgets were all summarily eliminated when the “economic downturn” began. As a result, my bookings have dropped off precipitously.
The same has been true for many of my friends and family, most of who work for themselves in some manner. Like attracts like, I suppose. Yet, in conversations with all these people, there is a spark of desire, an anticipation of discovery. Most of them are working on something new or interesting. They are developing something they always wanted to create but didn’t have time to work on before. They are engaged and energized. Dare I say that they are optimistic?
The same has been true for me. Instead of lamenting the loss of business (and possibly my Gold status on Alaska Airlines!), I began looking at my programming and asking myself the really hard questions. How could I redevelop this material to be more accessible? More interesting? More available? Pondering those questions and forcing myself to re-align both my perspective on what I did and my expectations on what results I could achieve, drove me to an entirely new business model – the delivery of my programming online by leveraging all the rapidly-changing webinar technologies.
The point of this post is not self-promotional. Rather, I’m using my own experience and the anecdotal information I’m receiving from others to point out the undying spirit to move forward that we humans, not just Americans, possess. In all the harsh reality an economic downturn delivers, it’s inspiring to see people dig down and find a way, often a better way, to carry on. It’s encouraging to watch friends look at their lifestyles and decide what’s really important, then adjust their behaviors to meet those needs. It’s uplifting to talk with people who are engaged again, striving to accomplish something new and feeling challenged all along the way.
Hardship is hard; there’s no doubt about that. But one of its benefits is the rediscovery of desire.